Jerusalem’s religious symbolism in Islam prompted large groups of worshippers and dedicated Muslims to make it their destination. Sufism started with the early stages of Islam and the manner in which Prophet Muhammad and his followers conducted their lives.
Through the history Sufis built Mosques and private homes were centers for Sufism and its patrons, and later on they have built Sufi institutions. Sufism flourished in Jerusalem in the Mamluk and ottoman eras. One type of the Sufi buildings is “Zawiya”. “Zawiya” is a corner. In practice, it is a location in which people are brought together and the term was used to indicate places where Sufis congregated or found shelter.
We introduce you through this article to one of the best known Zawiya in the Old City of Jerusalem:
Zawiya al-Adhamiyya (1358 AD / 760 H)
The activities of the Sufi institutions were not restricted to the Old City of Jerusalem and the vicinity of al-Aqsa Mosque, but extended outside the city walls to the surrounding region. Zawiya al-Adhamiyya, established in the Mamluk era is one of the most famous Sufi corners. The Zawiya features a grotto, which may be visited after obtaining permission from the administration of the building.
This Zawiya is located outside the Old City walls between Damascus Gate and Herod’s Gate, near the bus station and alongside the Herod’s Gate cemetery. The site can be identified by the two minarets of the present mosque.Today this site is mainly modern buildings, although the remnants of a Mamluk structure can be seen in the room above the grotto entrance.
Adjacent to the Zawiya is the large al-Adhamiya grotto referred to by historian Mujir al-Din in his famous book, The Glorious History of Jerusalem and Hebron (c. 1495). He jokingly described the grotto as ‘the living under the dead’, referring to those in the cave under the al-Sahira cemetery. This area is still active and bustling with visitors, particularly its mosque, which includes a large ablution facility and kindergarten.
To learn more about Sufism in Jerusalem and other corners, you can visit: http://enjoyjerusalem.com/explore/paths-and-trails/path/278